People either love or hate Phuket. It is an island that evokes extreme emotions among tourists from all over the world. For many people, Phuket has very negative connotations. Some have based their opinions on Patong City, the most crowded “party” of the island. Yes, there are areas full of dubious-quality places and bars filled with drunken tourists, but the vast majority of the island impresses visitors with its beautiful beaches, exotic nature, and holiday atmosphere.
Here, everyone will find something for them. People looking for peace and closeness to nature will be enchanted by the northern part of the island with its hidden beaches and national parks. Tourists looking for a rich nightlife and parties until dawn will find themselves in Patong, the party capital of the island.
Whether Phuket delights you or not depends on what you like and the way you intend to explore the island and its surroundings.
1. Prepare for a Phi Phi Islands Trip
Phuket is the best starting point for sea tours of the Andaman Sea. The beautiful Phi Phi Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations and a must-see for most tourists arriving in Phuket. The islands are picturesque, and there are several charming coves, including the most famous Maya Bay, where the film The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot.
Numerous travel agencies offer a wide range of trips to the Phi Phi Islands—on large ships, speed boats, or long-tail boat. All-day trips are offered in all possible combinations and usually include meals and drinks. You can go snorkeling on a reef, feed monkeys on an island, or swim at a wonderful beach. It is worth comparing the offers of various travel agencies and negotiating the price.
If you prefer to travel as a backpacker and want to organize your free time yourself, you can opt-out of using a travel agency and sail on Phi Phi by boat. Boats to Phi Phi depart daily from Rassada Pier in Phuket.
2. Walk Around Impressive Temples
In Phuket, you can admire the amazing Buddhist temples. The most important is Wat Chalong, which dedicated to medic and herbalist monks Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. They were mediators between the fighting parties during the uprising in 1876 who cured the wounded and mended broken bones, so the Thais believe that praying here has healing powers. This beautiful place is worth a whole separate article! Many tourists and believers come here during the day, and the red-gold roofs of temples look impressive, shining in the sun.
If you are looking for peace and a place to contemplate, you can go to Wat Chalong at night. The temple is beautifully illuminated, and it is cool enough that the sweat won’t pour from your forehead. A walk around Wat Chalong after sunset is an alternative and worth-considering way of visiting this beautiful temple.
3. Take a Great Shot at Phuket Viewpoints
Phuket is a mountainous island with an interesting landscape. Its numerous winding and steep hills are quite a challenge for bicycle lovers. Biking up a steep hill in the rays of the burning sun takes a lot of effort, but you will be rewarded beautiful views.
If you are put off by intense physical effort, then you can rent a scooter or a car and see the most picturesque scenic spots in Phuket in just a few hours. The most important and best known is Karon Viewpoint, from where you can take in a breathtaking view of three beaches: Kata Noi, Kata, and Karon. Another noteworthy landmark is Promthep Cape, which is located on the southern tip of the island. The view there is particularly beautiful during sunset.
If you would like to combine admiring beautiful views with feeding monkeys, go to Monkey Hill in the area of Phuket Town. This is where Thai people go for a jog and to use open-air gyms. There is a very large population of macaques that are fed by the local community. From the top of the hill, there is a beautiful view of the island.
4. Relax on the Beautiful Beaches
Phuket is famous for its many beautiful, sandy, and wide beaches. The beaches are an obligatory point at every visit. The winding, coastal roads along the west coast provide beautiful views. The most attractive beaches on the west coast are each unique. Some seem infinitely long, while others go into sandy bays surrounded by high granite rocks. The most visited and crowded are 2–3 km sections of Patong, Karon, and Kata beaches. Beachgoers seeking peace will not have problems finding almost empty places on Nai Yang, Bang Thao, Pan Sea, Kamala, and other beaches.
5. Visit Phuket Town and Try Typical Thai Food
For those, who are interested in the history of the island and its architecture, Phuket Town, the capital of the province, is worth a visit. At the beginning of the 20th century, most of the rich tin barons resided there. Their beautiful, representative residences, scattered in numerous parks, are an attraction to this day. The old part of the city with the Chino Portuguese architecture style is extremely charming.
In addition to the old part of the city, Phuket Town offers several night markets. The largest and best known is Chillva Market. Above everything, you can buy tasty food at low prices. The number of choices is high, so it is the perfect place for people who want to taste real Thai cuisine. In addition to eating, there is a whole lot of Chinese trinkets and several pubs with live music.
Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, delights some and disappoints others with controversy. One thing is certain: you will not be bored here. The number of attractions per square meter is probably the largest in all of Thailand. Every type of tourist can be found here: party people, couples, families with children, and retirees. Everyone will find something for them.